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Business Growth in the Age of Disruption

Written by Kurt Shreiner, EVP, Corporate Financial Solutions

We live in an era of disruptive technology. Seemingly, on a daily basis, we find ourselves using or reading about a new technology rapidly changing the way we go about our day. Whether Napster that transformed the music business in the late 1990s, the emergence of the smartphone in 2007 or the ubiquity of Uber today, we find ourselves increasingly dependent on technologies that have gone from disruptive to commonplace.

In fact, the pace of disruption has forced banks to become agile. No longer can banks promote one-size-fits-all solutions. Rather, they must be responsive to the needs of emerging industries and markets. At Atlantic Capital Bank, we’ve created entire teams to serve markets that didn’t exist when I started my banking career.

Disruption ultimately leads to differentiation as businesses stake out new competitive space emerging from new technologies. Nevertheless, there remains a lingering question for many smaller to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs)—can we be disruptive in ways that are not solely dependent on new or improved technologies?

The simple fact for many businesses, large or small, is that the development of radical or innovative technologies is beyond their grasp. If this is the case, how can a business differentiate itself from its competitors? A business dedicated to embracing change and seeking excellence can still be disruptive without designing a new technology or product.

Many times SMEs find themselves looking for the “home run” while ignoring two basic corporate necessities—the ability to execute on a plan and provide distinctive customer service. A commitment to execution and service can differentiate SMEs, particularly those competing against better-resourced competitors.

SMEs have a number of advantages when facing larger competitors. The smaller business can be nimble and adapt quickly to changes in the market. SMEs can create a culture of responsiveness and change that larger businesses envy.

As larger businesses increase scale (usually using technology unavailable to SMEs) they can overlook or leave behind client segments that SMEs find attractive. These blind spots in large businesses provide a wealth of market opportunities for SMEs. The key is knowing how to take advantage of these profitable blind spots.

A commitment to flawless execution and superior service delivered to underserved market segments is a disruptive force for an SME. The advantages an SME brings to these overlooked or underserved markets (nimble, adaptive, client-focused) are precisely the resources necessary to drive flawless execution and superior service.

Customers accustomed to buying from larger, inattentive providers will respond with renewed interest to a business placing increased value on their needs. The clever SME will invest in the tools and people necessary to create a culture dedicated to execution and service for their clients. A commitment to execution and service can quickly level the playing field for SMEs as they compete for market share and their share of an industry’s profits.

Like SMEs, Atlantic Capital Bank serves mid-market businesses by using its available advantages—flawless execution and superior service—to disrupt its industry. Atlantic Capital differentiates itself from the larger, global players by providing superior levels of service and local market expertise typically associated with smaller community banks. At the same time, it differentiates itself from community banks by offering access to the banking expertise and capital typically found at larger banks.

As you begin competing in larger playing fields, Atlantic Capital’s experts can help you maintain efficiency and profitability when it comes to your company’s cash management and credit facilities. Learn more about Atlantic Capital’s wide range of services online at atlanticcapitalbank.com.

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